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Rumor | The Xiaomi 12 series will include a Mini version

A recent Xiaomi 12 render. (Source: LetsGoDigital)
A recent Xiaomi 12 render. (Source: LetsGoDigital)
The rumor mill has taken a more than slightly cryptic post from a famous Weibo leaker and run with it in the form of claims that it points to a variant of the possibly upcoming Xiaomi 12 flagship series with a much smaller screen size than normal. It is thought to be pitched at an audience who might be inclined to look for more of a flagship killer than a flagship.

Going by the product cycle established in 2021, the next generation of top-end Xiaomi smartphones are projected to contain a vanilla 12, possibly joined by a 12 Pro and a 12 Ultra. However, should some interpretations of a new Digital Chat Station post prove accurate, they might be joined by a 12 Mini.

The putative Android device could be so called thanks to its display dimensions, said to be a relatively short ~6.3 inches in diagonal length. (By contrast, those of the existing Mi 11 Pro and Ultra measure 6.8 inches.) Should it truly be a Xiaomi flagship device, it might well also be called the 12 Youth Edition.

Some blogs have potentially gotten ahead of themselves in speculating that this hypothetical member of the 12 series might have an upper-mid-range SoC such as the Snapdragon 870.

On the other hand, all this hype is based on not much more than a Digital Chat Station post referencing the code-name L3, rumored to correspond to a Mini version teased by Xiaomi officials earlier in the year and now thought to have been relegated from an early 2021 product cycle to a late 2021/2022 one instead thanks to delays and shortages.

The idea of a "12 Mini" is also of course inexorably inspired by the enduring presence of the second-gen iPhone Mini, even though Apple is now said to have dropped the option in favor of more successful big-screen devices instead. Therefore, the future of the possible Xiaomi compact flagship in even further doubt.

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Deirdre O'Donnell, 2021-11-12 (Update: 2021-11-12)